House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) tore into desperate Republicans on Thursday as they attempted to argue in opposition to the second article of impeachment against Donald Trump: obstruction of Congress.
Nadler reminded Republicans that impeachment is the only constitutional remedy that Congress has to hold a corrupt president accountable. By refusing to cooperate with that process, the president – and his Republican allies in Congress – are pushing the country toward tyranny.
“The assertion by the executive that the impeachment power cannot be exercised by Congress is an obstruction of Congress and, if allowed to get away with it, eliminates the power of impeachment as a check on the power of the presidency.”
“And is a large step toward dictatorship,” he added.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) December 13, 2019
The assertion by the executive that the impeachment power cannot be exercised by Congress is an obstruction of Congress and, if allowed to get away with it, eliminates the power of impeachment as a check on the power of the presidency. And is a large step toward dictatorship because the threat of impeachment is the only threat, the only enforcement mechanism, that Congress has on a president who would usurp powers and destroy the separation of powers, especially given the Department of Justice’s policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted and the administration’s assertion that he cannot even be investigated criminally. That leaves only impeachment as a remedy and as a check on presidential power. And if you don’t want a dictatorship, you have to allow Congress to exercise the power of impeachment. And the House has the sole power of impeachment, which means we have the right to get the documents we demand. Maybe subject to certain privileges but that’s not at issue here because no privileges have been asserted. Instead, what has been asserted is that the executive has the right to determine that the impeachment inquiry’s invalid. They usurp the role of the House. This is an assertion of tyrannical power. That’s why we must impeach the president on this article.
Trump has obstructed Congress every step of the way
Anybody that’s been paying attention over the past few months recognizes that Donald Trump has obstructed Congress at every turn throughout the impeachment inquiry.
As The New York Times noted earlier this month, Trump has refused to release a single document from the State Department, Defense Department and the White House budget office. He has also directed witnesses not to cooperate with impeachment investigators.
This behavior – obstruction of Congress, which is laid out in the second article of impeachment against the president – only gives more credibility to the first article of impeachment that charges Trump with abusing his power.
After all, if Trump is innocent and believes the facts are on his side, he would be sending documents and witnesses by the truckload to House investigators, not standing in the way.
As Rep. Nadler said on Thursday night, if Republicans continue to aid Donald Trump in his unprecedented obstruction of Congress, they are putting the United States on a path to tyranny.